The people afraid of flying

All those safety protocols can get a little off-putting, let's be honest

Are you among the 30 percent of people who are afraid of flying? When it comes to transport, jumping on a flight must be one of the most terrifying experiences out there. And very little is done to reassure you when you’re up there: as soon as you climb aboard, you’ll be told exactly how you’re supposed to save your own life – through safety protocols repeated constantly and in the same way all over the world. Just to top it all off, passengers will often applaud the pilot when the plane lands, as if surviving a flight is something to be celebrated.

The person who perhaps best summed up the symptoms and causes of flight phobia is none other than Irish actor Colin Farrell. In his own words: ‘I get sweaty palms, I hear every fucking noise. I usually get out of my head and just go unconscious or start tripping. It’s a big fucking train flying through the air, and I hate it. I find it the most unnatural fucking thing in the world.’ And he’s not alone.

Like him, many other celebrities have admitted a fear of flying: Ben Affleck, for example, ever since a plane he was on was struck by lightning, causing one of the engines to catch fire; and Sandra Bullock, who was once on-board a plane that slid out of control before it even took off. We could also cite the example of Jean Tiberi, the former mayor of Paris, whose aim to improve his city’s international links was hugely dented by his overwhelming flying phobia.

The alternatives, of course, can be a bit of a slog. And with Cannes Film Festival wrapping up today, how could we not mention the example of controversial Danish director Lars von Trier? He really can’t get on a plane, so visceral is his fear of flying. So whenever he does pop over to the Croisette from Copenhagen, he travels by campervan, which he parks up over in nearby Antibes.

Here at Midnight Trains, our ambition is to welcome you on-board one of the safest forms of transport there is. And if you’d still like to thank the train conductor with great whoops and cries of joy as the train pulls into the station, they’ll surely lap it right up – out of surprise as much as gratitude.

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